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Man Evicted From Disputed Property

PINI BOTHOKO
Kereeditse Matotela
Old Naledi Customary Court has resolved a residential plot dispute in the area, ordering that a property acquired unlawfully should be returned to its rightful owners.

Kereeditse Matotela dragged Mogotsi Tshegofatso to the customary court, as she sought justice over a piece of land left behind by her late father, Koolapele Ramatapana. Tshegofatso was ordered to vacate the disputed property in Old Naledi and hand it over to Matolela and her brother, Kgosietsile, as it was their inherited property. The court ruled that Tshegofatso and his father, Koolapele [Tshegofatso], had acquired the piece of land under ‘dubious’ circumstances.

 The complainant and defendants’ fathers shared similar first names, Koolapele but the surnames were different. Passing judgement, Old Naledi Court President, Oageng Masole gave Tshegofatso 30 days to vacate the property and hand it over to Matolela and Kgosietsile as the plot belonged to their late father, Ramatapana. 

The court said failure to vacate the plot within the specified period would result in the forceful removal of Tshegofatso.

Further, the defendant would face a charge of contempt of court. Masole ordered Self-Help Housing Agency (SHHA) to change the names on the residential plot certificate from Tshegofatso to Ramatapana’s children as the property’s rightful owners.

Masole further said if not satisfied with his judgement, both parties could appeal the case within 30days.  Tshegofatso indicated he would appeal the verdict. The customary court president noted that the residential plot number 72269 was a new number allocated to the plot, which was number 01041 previously.

Masole said SHHA officials had used the defendant father’s other name, Olapeng to differentiate identities when the property’s

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certificate was issued.

“I have established that the defendant’s father is related to the deceased, who was the rightful owner of the plot.  With the evidence before me, I have also established that the defendant’s father knew the deceased’s children and has been pleading with the complainant to ask her mother to develop the residential plot.

The evidence before me shows that the defendant knew the owner of the plot together with his children because they grew up in the same neighborhood,” he said.

“The defendant’s father contributed in the repossession of the plot because he wrote a letter asking Land Board to give the residential plot to his son despite having been asked to look after the plot by the deceased when he was sick.

There is more evidence that was brought before court, a letter from Kgosi Maphane showing that Bontle, (the deceased’s sister) was the person who was left behind to be a witness in any matter regarding the plot because her brother was sick,” Masole said.

Matolela expressed her delight when she spoke to The Monitor at the end of the case.  “It was long overdue, the residential plot belongs to my father and is our inheritance.

We have been struggling in Gaborone without a residential plot and together with my brother we will develop the plot,” Matolela said.  However, the defendant was not pleased with the court’s decision and said he would appeal the verdict.



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